Fewer head coaches and general managers have been under as much scrutiny as Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace. While it’s easy to understand why the Chicago Bears‘ GM has been under fire (see: the drafting of Mitch Trubisky over the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, along with a slew of his other questionable early-round draft picks), the criticism of Nagy seems far less warranted.
Nagy is 25-13 in regular season play, and he has yet to have a losing season, going 12-4 his first year, 8-8 in 2019 and 5-1 so far in 2020. He won Coach of the Year in 2018, and while his play-calling and decision making have been called into question — legitimately in many cases — Nagy has managed to make the best of a questionable quarterback situation and just five of his 13 losses have been by more than a touchdown, so he has generally kept the Bears in it week after week.
And yet, nearly half of Chicago’s fan base is calling for Nagy to be fired.
Per the latest report from ESPN insiders Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano, however, those calling for the heads of Pace and Nagy will very likely see their calls fall on deaf ears.
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Fowler & Graziano: 2020 Season May Be Saving Jobs of Pace & Nagy
Both Fowler and Graziano speak with NFL GMs and head coaches regularly, and Fowler in particular has been a news breaker lately, so when either says something about the state of a coach or GM situation, it’s certainly worth paying attention to.
Here’s what they had to say about whether or not Pace or Nagy will have to worry about their jobs in 2021:
“The Bears are 5-1, somehow, and a run to the playoffs could spare not only coach Matt Nagy but also GM Ryan Pace, in spite of the disastrous outcome of the Mitchell Trubisky pick. Most people with whom we’ve talked think the Nagy/Pace pairing gets another year at least, which means another shot to try to solve the quarterback situation there. The way the Bears are playing, they aren’t going to have a very high pick with which to do it.”
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A Playoff Berth Will Assuredly Give Pace, Nagy Shot to Pick Next QB in 2021
As of now, the Bears have an 86 percent chance to make the playoffs, per fivethirtyeight.com:
That means barring a catastrophic collapse, a second postseason appearance in three years will absolutely buy Nagy enough good will to help choose the team’s next quarterback of the future. It also means Pace will be there, too, which will understandably frighten some fans and analysts. This is a man who didn’t want to sit down and have dinner with Deshaun Watson when he was vetting quarterbacks, but was charmed instead when he saw Trubisky driving his grandmother’s Toyota Camry.
But Nagy’s presence in the draft room should actually assuage some fears fans may have. He was part of the staff that did select Patrick Mahomes, and he his record alone has earned him a shot to pick the quarterback he wants to run his offense. And the way the season is going, he’s going to get that chance, whether people like it or not.